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CorkWithAC 05-21-2013 09:05 PM

Carpenter ants
(first post woo!)
Previously with warm weather I found a few of the queens out looking to form a new nest just outside of the window sill, where the ants had made a colony. Over the last ~4 weeks, I have been actively managing this colony found in window sill with boric acid. Up until today, I really thought I had the upper hand on them. I thought their colony was really in the straights. I was going a number of days even without seeing one of the worker ants.

Today, however, was the first true warm - summer like - day in my area and I found about 12 of the winged queens in the room with the window sill. I've done extensive research on the little buggers and know that spring is typically when the winged queens/females look to form a new colony.

I was wondering if anyone has had any luck exterminating them and if you think that this response of 12 winged queens is sort of a last ditch effort to reestablish a new colony or has their colony really been flourishing under my nose.

Thanks for any help you can provide!


benali 05-22-2013 12:31 PM

I had carpenter ants establish themselves inside the floor of my house a couple years ago and got to learn lots about them (unfortunately!). Every spring they propagate thru a number of queens. You can distinguish a queen because they have wings. Kill every one you can because each is capable of establishing a huge colony, on her own, if she survives.

The production of a dozen or more queens every spring is normal -- some where near their hive of origin.

If carp ants get established indoors you have to get rid of them because they do extensive damage to your woodwork (over time). How do you know if you have them?

(1) Spot worker ants, as you have. If these are indoors you may well have an indoor colony.
(2) Carps are nocturnal, and they actually make noise while they munch away on your wood. Therefore, get up at midnight or in the early am, walk around your house very quietly, then stop and listen at various locations. You can detect the ant colony by the very faintly crinkly (munching) sound they make as they expand their burrows. In my case I was in the basement and as I stood very still I heard a faint crunching above. They were in the floor of the kitchen (the ceiling in my basement).

To get rid them, powders and sprays like boric acid help, but the real way to get rid of them -- assuming they reside indoors -- is to eliminate their source of water. They MUST have fairly nearby water to survive. In my case I determined that my old refrigerator was not properly managing condensation and was therefore dripping water into the floor. I fixed the frig, no more water, and within a week, no more ants.

Bottom line -- if they're indoors, you MUST get rid of them, and you CAN by locating their hive and fixing it so as to deny them water.

Outdoors.... I really can't help you here.

Best of luck.

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